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Country Briefs

  Cameroon

Reference Date: 22-September-2017

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Concerns over performance of upcoming 2017 cropping season in Far North Region

  2. Main maize season crop expected to be average or above average due to adequate and well-distributed rainfall during cropping season

  3. Alarming food insecurity situation in northern and eastern regions due to refugee influx and internal displacements

Mixed prospects for 2017 crop production

Harvesting of the main 2017 season maize crop started in July in the bi-modal centre and south. Rainfall has been adequate and well-distributed during the cropping season and production prospects for the 2017 maize crop are expected to be average or above average. By contrast, in the uni-modal north, despite favourable weather conditions (see map), the production prospects for sorghum and millet crops, expected to be harvested from October, are uncertain due to civil insecurity. Agricultural operations continue to be severely affected by the civil unrest which spread from neighbouring Nigeria in late 2014. The widespread insecurity continues to result in displacement of people, causing input shortages and depleting the already inadequate households’ productive assets. As a result, a reduced agricultural output for the third consecutive year is likely and timely and effective support to the agricultural sector is required.

To help avert a full scale food security and nutrition crisis, in the framework of the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan, FAO appealed for USD 4.6 million to respond to the needs of 100 000 crisis-hit farmers. FAO has been supporting crop and vegetable production through the distribution of cowpea, maize, sorghum and vegetable seeds, fertilizers and bio-pesticides. Moreover, it has been supporting livestock production through livestock infrastructure and construction of water points and vaccination parks, small ruminants and poultry re-stocking and animal vaccination.

Low inflation rates in recent years

According to the International Monetary Fund, the average inflation rate, which was estimated at a low of 2 percent in 2015 and 2016, is forecast to remain stable in 2017. In the last several years, rates of inflation were highly volatile, varying from a low of 1 percent in 2007 to 5 percent in 2008 and then declining to 3 percent in 2009 and to 1 percent in 2010. The rates rose again in 2011 to 3 percent, before progressively declining to 1.9 percent in 2014.

Acute food insecurity situation in northern and eastern regions

The overall food security situation has sharply deteriorated in recent years due to multiple shocks, including the influx of refugees from the Central African Republic and Nigeria, increasing civil insecurity and natural hazards. The number of food insecure people was estimated at 2.6 million in March 2017 with the majority of the vulnerable groups located in Makari, Fotokol and Kousseri in the Logone and Chari departments. In these regions, a substantial and increasing number of households are resorting to negative coping strategies. According to a survey carried out in December 2016, 22 percent of the interviewed households had reduced the number of meals, 51 percent had switched to less nutritious types of food, 10 percent had sold productive assets including female livestock and 8 percent had cut essential non-food expenses including health, sanitation and education.

In the Far North Region, the impact of the Boko Haram armed forces on civil insecurity has resulted in the displacement of about 228 000 Cameroonians and an influx of about 91 000 refugees from Nigeria. Furthermore, the resurgence of violence in the Central Africa Republic has led to an increased flow of refugees into the country during recent months. Almost all new arrivals have settled into host communities in East and Adamaoua regions, increasing the local needs for humanitarian assistance. The total number of refugees from the Central African Republic residing in the country is estimated at about 276 000.